I’m currently somewhere over Oregon, flying from the bay area back to Seattle. This is the 6th flight that I’ve been on in the last 3 months, and the very first time that I’ve even bothered pulling my laptop out of its bag. Since the flight between SEA and SJC is only in the air for 90 minutes or so, I haven’t really seen the point–I’d rather spend the time reading, listening to my iPod, or sleeping.
In fact, the fact that it’s such a short flight factored into my shopping when I picked up a new PowerBook a couple months ago. If I’d really expected to use my computer on the plane, I probably would have picked up a 15” PowerBook, but I figured that I could cope with a few computer-free hours per month and bought the 17” model instead. I’m really happy with my choice, all things considered–the screen on the new 17 is amazing–it’s basically a 20” LCD shrunk down to 17”. My old 15” PowerBook was really most useful when it was sitting on a desk plugged into a real monitor, while I’ve never even bothered to plug my 17” into anything, even when I’ve had a spare monitor or two sitting right next to the laptop.
So, when I bought the laptop, I figured that the extra screen real estate was worth an extra couple pounds and a general inability to use the laptop while traveling. Frankly, the 15” was never very comfortable to use on planes anyway, so I doubted that I’d miss anything. If I’d really wanted to work on planes, I’d have picked up a 12” PowerBook and found a way to cope with their limitations.
Anyway, here I am, sitting on a dinky little Alaska Air MD-80 with my laptop out, and somehow, even though MD-80s are generally cramped even without an oversized laptop, somehow there’s actually more then enough room here to work. It fills up my entire tray, and it helps that my seat is reclined a bit and there’s no one in front of me (or next to me–no one in their right mind flies at 6:30 on a Saturday morning), but it’s actually pretty comfortable. I could probably get 3 or 4 hours worth of work done this way, if my plane wasn’t landing in 30 minutes.
Now back to the one remaining bug in my new Typo caching code…